Chinese Lego counterfeiters lose appeal against convictions

A Chinese high court has upheld criminal convictions for nine people who infringed the copyright of Danish toymaker Lego, selling close copies of its products under the Lepin brand name.

The ringleader of the gang – whose surname is Li according to local media reports – had a six-year prison sentence and RMB 90m (almost $14m) fine confirmed by the Shanghai court, along with jail terms for the other eight defendants of between three and 4.5 years.

At the time the judgment was billed as one of the largest ever levied in China against a domestic producer of counterfeits of an international brand.

The gang – based in Shantou – was convicted in September of selling RMB 300m ($40m) of copyright-infringing products, and on their arrest had more than RMB 30m knock-offs stored ready for sale.

From 2015 to April 2019, the defendants bought new Lego toys and, using computer modelling and other techniques, reproduced them with near-identical parts and packaging, selling them online and through offline stores.

Prosecutors said they sold almost 4.5m block sets, which mimicked 634 different models in the Lego range.

The gang contracted others to make the counterfeits, but also set up its own factory under a holding company called Shantou Lepin Toys Co to produce them, according to the Shanghai court, which found that the offence was an “particularly serious” and “extremely harmful” violation of copyright law as it rejected the appeal. They even applied for trademark registration.

Related articles:

     Want our news sent directly to your inbox?

Yes please 2


Home  |  About us  |  Contact us  |  Advertise  |  Links  |  Partners  |  Privacy Policy  |   |  RSS feed   |  back to top